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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:31 PM   #1
JChrisG is offline JChrisG  United States
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Default Starting down the Karlson road with some questions

I have admired the look of these for a long time and have had a great time reading about them. So I had a friend look out for some and they finally came my way, with Coral TET-1 12" triaxials in them. I also had some University 312 model 200's, currently in 4.6 cf bass reflex cabinets, that I wanted to try.

I put some nice Solen 5uF in the University speakers and some Dayton 2uF and 3uF in the Corals. I have been listening mostly to solo piano so I don't get confused. Unfortunately, the Coral speakers don't sound too great. Very tinny highs. The cones seem very rigid, maybe they are out of compliance. The University speakers in the Karlson cabs sound better but it seems like the loud and bassy passages are congested. I am not sure if the University drivers don't sound better in their boxes.

Well, these are 50-60 year old speakers and they have been moved and stored and knocked around who knows how many times. I could understand if they are just not up to their original performance levels.

Some questions:

Does anyone recognize the cabinets? There is some Japanese print in them that makes me think maybe they were built by Coral for their speakers.

Does anyone else think that the two speakers I have tried just may be too old and out of spec to respond well in these cabs?

Any suggestions about modern drivers that would perform well in the cabinets so I can hear what they are all about? I have been browsing the forums but would love further guidance.

I saw where someone tried a Betsyk in an 8" cutout. What would happen if I slid in an adaptor for an 8" full ranger like that?

Thanks!

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Old 2nd September 2014, 11:12 PM   #2
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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re: cabinets - I have a pair and have seen at least 3 pairs built exactly the same online. They are pretty close to a regular factory style K12 other than an extra vent slit ( and in my pair, lack of upper reflector piece)

312 have weak motors - also with some vintage speakers, the spider and surround can stiffen enough to raise fs an octave.

K12 can work well with 8" fullrange. Fostex 206EN has the most impact out of what I've tried. Eminence's current Beta10cx is a good match. On the cheap, Visaton's BG20 will play well - maybe not far off from BetsyK other than rougher treble

make an adapter plate and get something fresh. Speakers with bright balance may give the best result as the axis is tilted 25-28 degrees up plus there kind of a BSC built in.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 12:40 AM   #3
JChrisG is offline JChrisG  United States
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Thanks so much! I'll check out the speaker choices you recommend. For adaptor plate, 3/4" plywood square large enough to cover the 12" cutout mounted behind the existing baffle?
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Old 3rd September 2014, 02:43 PM   #4
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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1/2" Baltic birch would be good enough - BG20 might use a helper tweeter but is pretty much fullrange and balanced all by itself. ASD1001 which was used on the original Silver Iris is a good compression driver for $30 to use with Beta10cx.

BG20 in a "Coral-Pioneer-Karlson12" cabinet like yours

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Beta10cx is punchy in this cabinet and gives some of the impact of a big Karlson setup

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Old 3rd September 2014, 03:08 PM   #5
JChrisG is offline JChrisG  United States
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Is your adapter inserted into the 12" cut-out or fixed to the back of it? I'll probably spring for the Fostex drivers - what with tweeters and crossovers for the Eminence drivers I don't think I would save much.

Are you a bass player? What speaker do you like in the K-12 for that? I play an old Hagstrom 4-string.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 03:25 PM   #6
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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the adapter is screwed over the rear of the cutout and I front mount the driver. FE206EN is very lively in K12. My first good bass was the vinyl backed, plastic top Hagstrom. Something like Kappa 12a would be suitable for bass in K12 - it would not go "low" but handle a lot of power. Kappa 12a mates pretty well to 1 inch format compression drivers on K-tubes. There's a buyout Community 12 speaker at Partexpress for $59 which should play well in K12 - I've not mounted it yet in one.
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Old 3rd September 2014, 06:33 PM   #7
JChrisG is offline JChrisG  United States
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Good info! I will try them for hifi 1st, but what cool bass and guitar cabs they would be. Here's a pic of the Swede:
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Old 3rd September 2014, 06:41 PM   #8
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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WoW! = that's a beautiful bass
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Old 9th September 2014, 12:10 PM   #9
JChrisG is offline JChrisG  United States
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Thanks. It's got a beautiful headstock - fleur des lis in abalone, I think. Maybe I have a pic. I think the body is mahogany, it weighs a ton. I found it in a thrift shop for $80 and I have sold all my other basses. I have never even changed the strings and I play it a lot.

Thanks for the tip on the Fostex. They came quick, it was a fun project making the adaptor plates, and they sound great! Right away I could tell it was the right thing to do. All the problems with the old drivers cleared up - highs are crisp and the lows are clean and fast. Great dynamics, and I can actually hear Glen Gould humming along in the Goldberg Variations and I can discern the tune he is humming! Not that I want to hear him hum, but that was completely missing before.

I'll leave them playing for a couple of days and hopefully they will be broken in by opera night.
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Old 10th September 2014, 09:33 AM   #10
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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Karlson are great with appropriate drivers and FE206EN is probably the best 8" overall which I've tried. K12 to my ears sounds more coherent and faster on drums than back loaded horn. There's a player piano version of Gould's earlier Goldberg - I missed his humming !!!! Your Hagstrom is beyond cool. Karlson are good for bass guitar and l like them on electric six string too.
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